John Bercow urged to allow Donald Trump to address Parliament
In 2017 the Speaker sparked controversy by saying Mr Trump should not be allowed to address Parliament on his visit to the UK.
Commons Speaker John Bercow has been urged to allow US President Donald Trump to address Parliament if he makes a state visit to the UK this summer.
Amid mounting speculation that the US leader will travel to Britain in June to coincide with the 75th anniversary of D-Day, Defence Minister Tobias Ellwood said the UK should “leverage” the visit.
“D-Day represents the bedrock of our international relationships,” Mr Ellwood told the Telegraph.
“As we pay tribute to a generation of brave veterans who sacrificed their lives to defend our values, we can reaffirm our commitment to step forward with our closest of allies and most crucially the US to defend those same values once again under threat.
“The special relationship matters. It is greater than any one individual, however controversial.
“So we should leverage the US President’s state visit, including the opportunity to formally address Parliament.”
In 2017 Mr Bercow sparked controversy by saying Mr Trump should not be allowed to address Parliament on his visit to the UK.
The Speaker said at the time that addressing Parliament was “not an automatic right, it is an earned honour”.
Just seven days after the US president’s inauguration in January 2017 the Prime Minister Theresa May flew to Washington to extend the invitation, officially on behalf of the Queen, for a state visit.
But despite his trip to the UK last summer, Mr Trump has not yet made a state visit to Britain.
Only two occupants of the White House have been treated to a grand state visit during the Queen’s reign, George W Bush in 2003 and Barack Obama in May 2011 but both were well into their presidencies by the time the offer was made.
Former Navy chief Lord West of Spithead told the Telegraph it would be “an absolute disgrace” if Mr Bercow stopped the president from speaking in Parliament.
He said: “The US and Britain saved Europe from a very dark time in its history and without America we would not have beaten the Nazis.
“Many Americans gave their lives on D-Day and beyond, and it would be disgraceful not to allow President Trump to speak.
“He is the elected US president, he is representing the US in that context, they are a key part of Nato and our most important ally.”